U.S. President Donald Trump recently slammed the WHO over its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. It's Director-General responded and said that Trump's criticism of the WHO having a China bias politicizes the virus. He also revealed that apparently, he has been the target of personal attacks originating from Taiwan.
So when he says politicizing, he's politicizing, that shouldn't be. When you talk about politics, I can't believe he's talking about politics when look at the relationship they have to China.
American President Donald Trump and World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus are currently in a war of words. The reason is this statement by Tedros.
Why would I care about being attacked when people are dying? My focus is saving lives. We don't do politics in the WHO.
On April 8, Tedros responded to Trump's accusation that he has a China bias. Trump waited less than a day to respond. He accused the WHO of misleading the public by saying there was no human-to-human transmission when the outbreak erupted, and then criticized the WHO for opposing the U.S.' ban on flights from China. He added the WHO has bungled its response, and the U.S. pays the WHO hundreds of millions of dollars a year, including nearly US$500 million last year. China only gave US$42 million, or one-tenth of what the U.S. gave, but the WHO still favors China and this is unfair.
And I think they have to get their priorities right, and their priorities are that everybody has to be treated properly, every country, and it doesn't seem that way, does it?
Trump reiterated that he will investigate the WHO to determine if the U.S. should stop funding it. Meanwhile, Tedros warned Trump against politicizing the virus and said China and the U.S. should not be antagonistic. He also spent three minutes talking about how he has become the target of personal attacks and racial slurs originating from Taiwan during the past three months.
We need to be honest. I will be straight today. From Taiwan, and Taiwan, the foreign ministry also, they know the campaign, they didn't disassociate themselves. They even started criticizing me in the middle of all that insult and slur.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also waded into the fight, saying the WHO's performance has underwhelming and it should examine if they are using the U.S.' money properly. However, now is not the time to discuss replacing Tedros.
I don't want to... Look. This is not the time to be, to be doing that kind of change. There will be a lot of time to look back and see how the World Health Organization performed. In the meantime, what our task is is to preserve and protect the American taxpayers.
Pompeo made sure to once again stress that the epidemic originated in China and China has the responsibility to provide an explanation to all countries. Not everyone approved of Pompeo's call for reconciliation. CNN quoted a government official as saying some of the WHO's problems originate with its leader.